A special group of farmers is receiving high praise from the Wolf Administration. The Homegrown by Heroes Program features farmers across the state who are also military veterans. These veterans are continuing to serve their state and country even after their time in the military, this time through agriculture.

“We have a vested interest in both agencies to support the citizens of the Commonwealth. From the agricultural perspective as well as the veterans perspective,” says Brigadier General Mark McCormack with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Homegrown by Heroes is a program for PA Preferred farmers who are veterans. It support these farmers by making sure their products are labeled in a way that consumers know their produce is coming from a veteran. Officials say this gives Pennsylvania residents a tangible way to show continued support for veterans.

“We just thought it was an important opportunity for us to both recognize Pennsylvania’s contribution to agriculture, but also recognize our standing among military families,” explains Russell Redding, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

A provision of the PA Farm Bill passed in June designated 1 million dollars to this program. That portion of the Bill was sponsored by Representative Eddie Pashinski. The money is being used to increase membership, increase consumer awareness of the Homegrown by Heroes brand, and allow these farmers to grow their business.

“You’ve obviously served the nation in your role as a service member, and as part of that 2%, you’ve decided to come back and decided to be part of the 2% that continues to feed the great people if this Commonwealth,” McCormack says.

The Homegrown by Heroes Program started in Kentucky in 2013, and has since expanded to all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Pennsylvania added the program in 2015.